War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0169 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

Search Civil War Official Records

them from the field. Definite orders as to the position I was to take upon the field would undoubtedly have made the howitzers of some service, while the want of such orders could not but make their presence of little service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. S. JASTRAM,

First Lieutenant, Battery E, First Rhode Island Artillery.

Captain GEORGE E. RANDOLPH,

Battery E, First Rhode Island Artillery.

[Indorsements.]

Respectfully forwarded.

General Kearny, nor Colonel Hays [support preordered to artillery], nor Colonel Robinson ever saw Mr. Jastram or his pieces. He was sent for by an orderly [an intelligent one], and did not come forward for orders, but all of us officers were near by, and conspicuous, as mounted.

P. KEARNY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

The court of inquiry asked for at my suggestion should examine this.

P. K.

SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

No. 301. Camp near Knoxville, Md., October 27, 1862.

1. A court of inquiry, of which Colonel C. H. Tompkins, First Regiment Rhode Island Artillery, is president, convened at the headquarters of Kearny's division, near Harrison's Landing, Va., by virtue of Special Orders, Nos.213 and 230, from these headquarters, dated, respectively, July 24 and August 8, 1862, issued at the request of First Lieutenant P. S. Jastram, First Rhode Island Artillery, "To inquire into the facts connected with the loss of one of the pieces of the section of Battery E, Rhode Island Artillery, commanded by said Lieutenant Jastram, on June 30, 1862, at Charles City Cross-Roads." The court, having carefully weighed the testimony before them, presents the following summary of evidence:

It appears that Lieutenant Jastram received an order to move his section, and was guided to a position he knew nothing about at a trotout by a person having the authority of General Kearny; that he opened fire without any definite object; that regular supports were not near the section in question, but disjointed squads were moving confusedly about near to where it was stationed; that there was a deficiency of men, owing evidently to the fact that Lieutenant Jastram failed to mount his cannoneers before starting; that confusion prevailed around the section, the lead driver of the piece which was abandoned having been dismounted to work at the piece, the teams became entangled, one or more horses being wounded, and a difficulty in limbering was the result; that Lieutenant Jastram gave the order to spike and abandon the piece; that no enemy was nearer than 200 yards, if so near; that the remaining piece of this section, with the artillery and other troops, remained in the neighborhood of the abandoned piece until daylight the next morning.

2. The general commanding has carefully considered the proceedings in this case. They show Lieutenant Jastram to have been culpable=